“Wait in Dover for Mam’selle. It’s not long, you see, guard. Jerry, say that my answer is ‘recalled to life’.” This statement by Jarvis Lorry represents one of the most prominent cases of “Recalled to Life” in the book, A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, that of Dr. Alexandre Manette. When reading this book, most emphasis is placed on the “recalling” of the doctor and Charles Darnay, nephew to the Marquis Evermonde. However, there are many minor characters whose “recalling” has great importance to the story. In A Tale of Two Cities, the Jacquerie and lower class, the country of France, and Sydney Carton play a great role in the meaning behind “recalled to life”.
“Ah! So much the worse! A bitter taste it is that such poor cattle always have in their mouths, and hard lives they live, Jacques. Am I right, Jacques?” This quote by a Jacques to Monsieur Defarge tells of the hardships that the lower class and the members of the Jacquerie faced in the time of the Revolution. The lower class were a much abused part of life during the pre-Revolutionary era. There was not enough food to go around and as we can see by the illustration of the Marquis’ carriage and Gaspard’s son, they were viewed as unimportant and in the way. I believe that the Revolution was their way of saying that enough was enough and that the nobility had gone way too far. As for how this relates to “Recalled to Life”, this can go several ways. The way I choose to interpret it is that the French lower class never really had life. They were abused, starved, and treated like animals. The revolution was their way of saying that enough was enough and that they were ready to begin life. So I guess in this respect they may be “called to life” rather than recalled.
“It is a far, far better thing I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known” This quote by Sydney Carton shows his true character. After an entire book of being painted as a drunkard with a wasted life, unable to be redeemed, we can finally see the good in the man. Carton did indeed waste his life. He drank a lot. And as he told Mr. Lorry, he had no one to care for and no one to care for him. But, he loved Lucie Manette with all of his heart. “For you, and for any dear to you, I would do anything” At the end of the book, Carton fulfills this promise to the only woman he has ever loved, drugging Darnay and taking his place on La Guillotine. His love for Lucie caused him to sacrifice and redeem his wasted life.
France is a very large, but at the same time, very small part of Tale of Two Cities. However, “recalled to life” can describe the country. France